Sacrificial Offering Vs Profit Making

It is not proper for us to consider Christian worship as a means for making gains in this temporal life. Of course, it is not to deny that, many people have been immensely blessed in knowing God and walking in His ways.

Often worship is considered as a way to please God and when God is pleased we get what we want.

Well, ‘Do we really need to please God?’ or ‘Is God pleased with us because of us abiding in Jesus Christ by His grace?’

A particular model of worship was suggested by the devil to none other than Jesus Christ when he said – ‘You gain all these things if you worship me.’ Jesus outright rejected the proposal by making a fundamental point that – ‘God alone is worthy of worship.’

The basic error in the devil’s suggestion was in going against the eternal, unchanging truth that there can be no other object of worship other than the blessed Trinity.

However, there is also a subtle error that we seem to have swallowed unwittingly; and that is, ‘worshiping for gain.’

The Jesus model stands in stark contrast to the various models of worship in the world that follow the ‘worship for gain’ mantra.

A true worshiper worships in spirit and truth, and other than the spiritual act of offering oneself, worship can never be connected to the petty business of making profit.

Like oil or wax that burns itself out in offering light.

The Jesus model as exemplified from Abel to Jesus Christ and from Jesus Christ to the present day worshiper – is about offering oneself with love to be consumed.

Every instance of worship should ignite our desires and dreams, conveniences and comforts, and become a sweet smelling offering unto God.

Now:

  • Salvation is free indeed.
  • In Christ, God is already pleased with us.
  • Worship is our response of love to a God who gave us His all.

Thus, for us worship cannot be anything less than offering the whole of ourselves unto Him.

It is us as whole and not in part that needs to be brought upon the altar to glorify our God whom we love. For it is in perishing there on the altar that we find true life, life eternal, which He has freely given us.

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Impacting Our World!

More than anything else, concerning our social life, God’s people should be good influence on others. We should be able to quietly but definitely impact the people around us.

Making less noise but more impact.

Mostly we tend to speak so much more that we ourselves undermine the value that we do possess as God’s chosen vessels. The good and the helpful that can be offered get lost somewhere in the multitude of meaningless thoughts and words.

Both salt and leaven work in unseen ways.

So also, as we seek to live out the mystery of Christian life we should be able to act as the agents and catalysts of God’s kingdom here in this fallen world.

Surely, let us see all that can happen in our own little worlds when Jesus Christ in all His fullness both abides in us and also reaches out to the world through us.

Out of Control, but Happy!

Being in situations where we find ourselves totally helpless is absolutely fine, because then, in spite of our fears we discover that God is full of help.

When things are no longer in our hands we can rest assured; because it is sure, though our heart may refuse to readily acknowledge the truth, that they are then in the hands of God Himself.

What appears as risky for us is surely insulated by layers and layers of the grace of almighty God.

So, it is not those things over which we cannot have any control that should be worrying us but the very things that we are actually able to do. It is for us to seek to do our very best in whatever we do and to the extent we are able to do them.

Fear concerning things that we can hardly control robs us of our chance to excel for Jesus Christ in areas that have been really given to us to do.

More Power!

As New Testament believers it is not enough for us to say – “Where is the LORD, the God of Elijah?”

In specific situations where we believe God needs to move/act/respond – we should, by His grace, be able to rather remark – “Where is the LORD, my God Jesus Christ?”

Elisha was never wrong in having Elijah as a remarkable role model for what God could do. However, we have someone ‘greater than Elijah’ to emulate, call upon directly, and manifest the power of God in His will.

I think, the opportunities we get to minister or pray can bring God glorifying results, if:

  • We can only think – It is not about us but about God.
  • It is not to express our knowledge but what God knows.
  • It is not about our capacity to love but how much God loves us and others.
  • It is not about our potential but His omnipotence.

Dealing Difficult People

“My dear, dear, dear God – where are you when it hurts? Why do you keep on allowing people to hurt us?”

No matter where we go, we find that people are the same everywhere. There are those who are so easy to deal with and then there are very, very difficult characters; there are also those who are ‘toxic.’

All of us, I think, may have to deal or even live with difficult people. And sometimes, we just don’t have any choice.

People hurt us in varying measures. And there are those times too when we feel every single body are against us.

We need to understand that:

  1. Very few people intentionally hurt us. Even so their scope to seriously damage us is very limited – that is, if we do not end up over-reacting.
  2. Some people do not even know that they have hurt us or are hurting us. Talking to them will often just surprise them that they have actually hurt us.
  3. And most of the people that are hurting us are just helplessly venting it out on us. It is basically them, their hurts, unresolved issues, pent up anger, etc. And one just happens to be in close proximity to them – to get all the blows. It seems to you that you are walking on egg shells because their life experiences have reduced their fuses so very over sensitive.

Now, what are the options before us:

Option A – Have nothing to do with such people. It is actually not an option at all in this real fallen world.

Option B – Escapism. It is the most exploited option, in that you don’t let them get so near you or you try your best to avoid them. Though this is a comfortable option to take it will not allow us to grow into the person that God has purposed for us.

Option C – Face it in resignation. It is also common for people to just endure; however, it only gets them low and they are filled with self pity, poor self image, self defeat and all such ills.

Option D – Face it with the consolation of Jesus Christ. It is this option that we as Christ’s followers should choose. Firstly, in imitation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; and secondly, because we know that we have more than enough consolation in our Lord, so much love, and strength that it will only bring us through victorious, for His glory and our very best.